We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Follow Boldly


The Christian will be sure to make enemies. It will be one of his objects to make none; but if doing what is right and believing what is true should cause him to lose every earthly friend, he will regard it as a small loss, since his great Friend in heaven will be even more friendly and will reveal Himself to him more graciously than ever. You who have taken up His cross, don't you know what your Master said? "I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother . . . And a person's enemies will be those of his own household."

Christ is the great Peacemaker; but before peace, He brings war. Where the light comes, the darkness must vanish. Where truth is, the lie must flee; or if it remains, there must be a stern conflict, for the truth cannot and will not lower its standard, and the lie must be trampled underfoot. If you follow Christ, you will have all the dogs of the world yelping at your heels. If you live in such a manner as to stand the test of the last judgment, you can depend upon it that the world will not speak well of you.

He who has the friendship of the world is an enemy to God; but if you are true and faithful to the Most High, men will resent your uncompromising commitment, since it is a testimony against their iniquities. You must do the right thing and not fear the consequences. You will need the courage of a lion to pursue a course that turns your best friend into your fiercest foe; but for the love of Jesus you must take your stand. To risk reputation and affection for the truth's sake is so demanding that to do it constantly you will need a degree of moral principle that only the Spirit of God can work in you. Do not turn your back like a coward, but play the man. Follow boldly in your Master's steps, for He has made this rough journey before you. Better a brief warfare and eternal rest than false peace and everlasting torment.

C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, revised and updated by Alistair Begg

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Usually within the church, are these enemies, because far too many of the Lord's own are up to their necks in compromise and other sin.

-Carolyn

Marshall Art said...

A timely message for me, as I was discussing with my wife the importance of engaging family members who broach the touchy subjects of politics and religion. It's the natural tendency to avoid conflict due to the fear of loss. That fear is based on unknown potential. No actual loss may occur. But the benefits are huge for both sides. I have a "mission statement" under my blog title: To persuade or be persuaded. This code benefits me regardless of either result.

My wife and I, despite not being the best examples of such, regard ourselves conservative Christians. We are also conservative politically. My mother-in-law, and our two older daughters are not. The girls actually stated on Facebook that they are "lefties" after I made a comment regarding what I regard as a general truth, that lefties are all talk. One of them had posted something about the recent march of insanity across the nation by women that my wife felt was supportive of whatever the hell it was they were marching about. (I have not seen this post myself) My wife now is concerned about our youngest turning as well to the dark side (so far she appears to be a fine young conservative woman). My wife is afraid to engage with any of them on either religion or politics.

I try to tell my wife that as hard as it is, and harder still to learn that they are committed to the dark side should that be the case, there is really no downside to doing so. Even if the worst should happen...that they expose their commitment to the dark side...estrangement is highly unlikely, but clarity will be certain. On the plus side, two possibilities exist: she will persuade or be persuaded. Assuming the arguments are sound and truth-based, neither result is any less than profit. Were she to bring these women to the light, it will be counted by them as a great gift. Conversely, were these women to convince my wife that she has been mistaken all this time, my wife will have received the great gift. It's really a win/win.

I, too, am concerned for my womenfolk. But I do not wish to make my wife uncomfortable if I can help it. Thus, I await the opportunity to engage any of these women apart from my wife's presence. I don't believe discourse must necessarily be contentious, despite the snark I often employ on the blogs. With people I love, I can easily employ different tactics to bring about a change of heart. More often than not, decent people who lean left don't realize how conservative they really are until it is made known to them. Engaging first with questions about why they believe as they do is a great way to allow them to guide you as to how to turn them around. It may also provide one with insights not before realized that alter one's own understanding.

While your post deals in the spiritual...and I'm even more concerned with the spiritual condition of my womenfolk than their political condition...the same dynamic is at play in both areas. The fear of rejection by those who hold to different positions too often stands in the way of enlightenment for both sides. Of my best friends, a two or three are hard-core leftists. One of whom is also an atheist who has said, "Most people say there are two subjects to avoid: politics and religion. I can't think of any subject I'd rather talk about." I feel pretty much the same way. Though we both talk music as well, every time he is in town, we spend time discussing both those topics at great length. After all this time, neither of us have turned the other, and we couldn't be closer friends. Because we're not afraid to either try to persuade or be persuaded.

Anonymous said...

Does that mean I read it with Scottish brogue? LOL

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

HUH!?!?!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Art,

Thanks for that great example! It is really difficult when dealing with family members who are followers of "the dark side," as I well know.

The post deals with the spiritual, yes, but the spiritual directs our worldview, meaning it should guide our political and social viewpoints.

Anonymous said...

Glenn,

I think your anon 1/28/17 7:45pm meant: do I read the Spurgeon quote in a Scottish brogue, because Alistair Begg is Scottish, and has an accent.

-Carolyn

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

OH!!! I don't always get subtle humor.

Anonymous said...

Without knowing Begg's heritage and/or hearing him speak, one would not have understood the joke. :)

-Carolyn

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Oh, I know about Begg - I just didn't make the connection.